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West Fargo soccer team still undefeated in EDC

Peter Orson of Fargo South, left, and Jake Kroke of West Fargo chase after the ball during the Thursday game in West Fargo. Dave Wallis/The Forum1 / 2
West Fargo teammates huddle around Nick Larson after he scored a first-half goal against Fargo South Thursday in West Fargo. Dave Wallis/The Forum2 / 2

That's probably not a headline Packer soccer fans are used to reading in recent years, and depending on how Tuesday's match went against Fargo-Shanley it may not even be true.

Results from the Deacons matchup were not available before press time, but even in a worst case scenario, West Fargo, 3-1-3 overall, is looking much improved this year in its quest to return to the state tournament for the first time since 2005. Not only were the Packers undefeated in EDC play at press time, they have also looked good against WDA teams.

For the most part, the Packers aren't devastating opponents, but what they are doing is playing sound soccer and solid defense. That combination earned the Packers a 1-1 tie against undefeated and unblemished Fargo South (though now 8-0-1) last week.

Packers coach Doug Millar points to his deep roster of talent that features 18 players that he's comfortable putting on the field.

"With our depth, if you have all those kids buying into the system and the ways we want to attack and the ways we want to defend, you should be successful, especially with the talent we have," said the coach.

West Fargo junior midfielder Nick Larson scored the first goal of the game that led to the tie with the Bruins.

"I bet he was 30 yards, free run before anyone got close to him," said Millar. "A beautiful ball traveled probably 30 yards to get to him that's how wide open he was." The tie is the first time the Packers have played the Bruins and not come away on the losing end since 2005.

"We did want to beat them. That would have been nice, but it felt good to tie them," said sophomore midfielder Jake Kroke. "That's one more point than any other teams have gotten against South this year, so we're pretty excited to get the tie."

The Packers early success this season could almost make one wonder if they've peaked early or if the team has plenty more wins ahead of them.

Millar said he doesn't think his team has peaked yet. The coaches are still figuring out who works the best with who.

"We're still moving guys around on the inside trying to find combinations," said Millar.

The Packers host the West Fargo Invite at the West Fargo Scheels Soccer Complex tomorrow and Saturday.

Solid tennis invite

The Packer boys tennis team played some impressive tennis last week despite clearly being in a rebuilding year. West Fargo, in conference play, beat Minot in dual action last week.

The Packers were also shut out by Grand Forks Red River and Bismarck, but it was their play in last Saturday's West Fargo Invite that turned heads. They finished sixth in the 15-team tournament, with several Packers earning points by placing.

Freshman Walker Degerness paced the Packers with a second place finish at No. 6 singles, while freshman Blake Nelson and junior Kevin Roberts added third place finishes at No. 3 and No. 5. Also, juniors Jordan Degerness and Kyle Roberts took fifth place at No. 2 doubles.

The Packers wrap up their regular season today at home versus Wahpeton.

Football team wins

If there was ever a time when the Packer football team needed a pick-me-up win it was last week, even though non-conference wins don't really count.

After an 0-2 start this year, West Fargo got its first victory against Dickinson last Friday, winning 28-3.

Senior quarterback Bryce Jorgenson threw three interceptions but ran for 136 yards, surpassing senior Jacob Kiefer's 113. Jorgenson ran for three touchdowns and threw for one to junior Zach Neer.

The Packers host a 3-0 Minot team tomorrow for homecoming. Next week's Pioneer will feature full coverage.

Golfers in 4th

The Packer girls golf team had another fourth place finish last week, this time at the Fargo North Invite. Packer senior Mara Johnson had her second top 10 finish of the year with an eighth place performance.

Swimmers win

The Packer girls swimming team had little trouble hosting Detroit Lakes last week, winning 131-55. West Fargo won all but one event. Junior Sam Gunning took three titles, the 200 IM, 100 backstroke and the 400 free relay.

West Fargo hosts Moorhead today.

Volleyball goes 2-3

The Packer volleyball team posted a 2-3 record at the Marshall, Minn. Tournament last weekend. West Fargo, 7-7 overall this season, travels to Wahpeton next Tuesday.